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      American Society of Civil Engineers Announces “Moving America Forward” Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure at UNLV

      November 20, 2019

      Host committee representing millions of workers includes American Society of Civil Engineers, International Union of Operating Engineers, Transportation Workers Union, American Public Transportation Association, Value of Water Campaign, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers

      Washington, DC - Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a group of leading labor unions and other stakeholders announced a 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, to be held over President's Day Weekend 2020, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). President's Day Weekend marks the start of early voting in Nevada's presidential caucuses.

      The host committee for the bipartisan candidate forum represents millions of union members, public sector workers, engineers, transportation and water agencies and manufacturers. In addition to ASCE, Host committee members include International Union of Operating Engineers , Transportation Workers Union , American Public Transportation Association , Value of Water Campaign , American Road and Transportation Builders Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers

      [1]  ASCE's 2017 Infrastructure Report Card rated the overall condition of the nation's infrastructure a cumulative grade of "D+," with an investment gap of $2 trillion. Americans waste 42 hours per year stuck in traffic and every two minutes, a water main breaks somewhere in the country. Infrastructure presents both an urgent challenge and a singular opportunity for the next presidential administration to address an issue that affects every everyone. [2]  90% of Americans believe infrastructure should be a priority for the next administration. Infrastructure dictates access to jobs, education and health care; it can help alleviate or exacerbate rising inequality; it can help solve the affordable housing crisis; and it is key to how Americans address climate change and its effects on our infrastructure. The forum will be an opportunity for candidates to address the challenges facing American's roads and transit systems, bridges and railroads, ports and airports and water and wastewater systems - and to lay out their vision for an infrastructure plan that supports a strong economy, job creation, consumer safety and national security. 

      "Our nation is at a crossroads. Deteriorating infrastructure is not only impeding our ability to compete in a thriving economy, but it is also holding back advances to prepare us for the future," said Tom Smith, ASCE Executive Director. "In addition, each American family is losing [3]  $3,400 in disposable income each year - more than $9 a day - due to poor infrastructure. Modernizing our infrastructure is one of the only areas today where there is bipartisan agreement, and Americans want to hear from the candidates on their ideas to improve our roads and bridges, drinking and wastewater systems, electric grid and more. I look forward to a thoughtful discussion on where we go from here." 

      The forum is convened by United for Infrastructure, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about the importance of America's infrastructure. The forum will be open to members of the press. Contact Abigail Gardner, agardner@unitedforinfrastructure.org, for more information. 

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      ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS

      Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org   or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.

      ABOUT UNITED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

      United for Infrastructure is a 501(c)(4) non-partisan, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about the importance of America's infrastructure. United for Infrastructure annually convenes the national Infrastructure Week, a week of advocacy and education that engages millions of Americans on the importance of investing in our nation's roads, bridges, tunnels, water systems, energy grid and more. Read more about United for Infrastructure and its projects here.

      [1]  ASCE 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org

      [2]  Benenson Strategy Group polling, Build Together: Renew America's Infrastructure. (2019)

      [3]  Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America's Economic Future. (2016) www.asce.org/failuretoact